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View Full Version : Zone blocking is guard>tackle?


JamesBill
03-24-2012, 06:23 PM
In zone plays it seems like the guard is the one with the harder responsibilities in the run game. During pass protection they are not facing elite rushers like the tackles are but in run plays they have to deal with linemen and LBs where the tackles can just pancake the ends.

Wolf
03-24-2012, 06:35 PM
old old video


A zone-blocking crash course
Big blocks like the one pictured by tackle Eric Winston should be more frequent in the zone blocking scheme being implemented by coaches Alex Gibbs, John Benton and Frank Pollack.



http://www.houstontexans.com/media-lounge/videos/A-zone-blocking-crash-course/6093856A-4179-4488-9D0E-3615795FCCAC

X's and O's: 2010 Run Game
Posted Jan 19, 2011
Arian Foster gained 1,616 yards in 2010, and offensive line coach John Benton diagrams how the guys up front cleared the way.

http://www.houstontexans.com/media-lounge/videos/Xs-and-Os-2010-Run-Game/780fd097-e9d3-4c52-bbde-303514d661b3

X's and O's: Benton breaks down long runs

Posted Jan 21, 2011

Arian Foster broke loose for some long runs in 2010, and o-line coach John Benton diagrams how the guys up front helped make it happen.


http://www.houstontexans.com/media-lounge/videos/Xs-and-Os-Benton-breaks-down-long-runs/bb19e93a-fb00-401a-b035-ad3f5d9438b7

CloakNNNdagger
03-24-2012, 07:39 PM
Each has its individual importance. The guards must deal with larger inside D and LBs, and "pull." The tackles need strenght on runs and agility on pass protection. The truth is that without precision teamwork of all the linemen, a successful zone blocking scheme is difficult to create.

Rey
03-24-2012, 07:59 PM
Overall I'd say that guards are more important because no matter which way the play is going, picking up their guy is vital and they have to work to get there every play...Whereas a backside tackle may not have to work very hard to keep his man out of the play...

But it also depends on the front you are blocking and the play called...

Carr Bombed
03-24-2012, 09:11 PM
There are different types of zone philosphies and zone systems and I've heard on multiple occasions that what we run is a "inside zone system" so yes, I'd have to agree the play of our guards is more important than that of the tackles in the running game (reason why losing Brisiel to injury made such a noticable difference, but make no mistake here...

I've said multiple times that Duane Brown is the best run blocking LT in the league and Eric Winston could possibly be the best run blocking RT.. It was a luxaury to have that tackle combination within this system and Eric Winston will be missed in that department. However if we can find a RT (Butler) who isn't that far off, but is much better in pass protection, we'll be better off in the long run.

This is also why I'm much more worried about finding someone to replace Mike Brisiel over finding whoever we stick at RT and consider Brisiel's loss much greater than Winston's departure. We have alot of work to do on the Oline now, we need to find a RG that can more than push Caldwell for the job and we need to find a swing tackle who can fill the shoes that Butler just stepped out of.

DocBar
03-24-2012, 09:30 PM
Each has its individual importance. The guards must deal with larger inside D and LBs, and "pull." The tackles need strenght on runs and agility on pass protection. The truth is that without precision teamwork of all the linemen, a successful zone blocking scheme is difficult to create.This is why I'm not overly worried about our OL even though we lost the starting right side. The replacements know the system and the players know each other. I don't think the chemistry needed for a functional OL will be hard to come by. With better passpro from the RT spot, it could actually excel.

thunderkyss
03-24-2012, 10:12 PM
I don't think either position is any more important than the other. They've all got a job to do & they've got to do it well. Plus you have to have a RB who can read the blocks, make decisions, & make those cuts.

I remember Wade Smith back in 2010. Man, he was awesome. He looked like Duane Brown in 2011. In the run game anyway. I don't know what he'd look like in pass protection, on the right side.... but I'd be interested to see how that would work.

If we can get a right tackle that would own his side of the field like DBrown does.... damn!!!

Carr Bombed
03-24-2012, 10:29 PM
I don't think either position is any more important than the other. They've all got a job to do & they've got to do it well. Plus you have to have a RB who can read the blocks, make decisions, & make those cuts.

I remember Wade Smith back in 2010. Man, he was awesome. He looked like Duane Brown in 2011. In the run game anyway. I don't know what he'd look like in pass protection, on the right side.... but I'd be interested to see how that would work.

If we can get a right tackle that would own his side of the field like DBrown does.... damn!!!

If we're strictly talking about the running game, then I think it is pretty clear which area is more important (which is the reason why people made such a big deal over Wade's slide in performance last season.) This is clearly a insde out ran team, which is why it was pramont that we got Myers back and we did. The next must signing is Brown, but that has little to do with run blocking.

thunderkyss
03-24-2012, 10:38 PM
If we're strictly talking about the running game, then I think it is pretty clear which area is more important (which is the reason why people made such a big deal over Wade's slide in performance last season.) This is clearly a insde out ran team, which is why it was pramont that we got Myers back and we did. The next must signing is Brown, but that has little to do with run blocking.

Wade played like ass in 2011 & Brisiel is easily replaceable. Ben Tate damn near ran for 1,000 yards & Arian would have had 1,700 had it not been for his hammy....

CM had to be resigned, because he's the QB or the line, he's the shot-caller; that's why we had to have him back.

But in our scheme, the guys on the inside double team the guy in front of them 8 out of 10 times. The guards usually start & end a run play on the LOS. Chris Myers is usually going up field, to clean out the second level. The tackles have to stretch the field, vertically as well as horizontally.

Rey
03-25-2012, 12:19 AM
The guards and center definitely have more responsibility in the run game. It's not even a question. That's just a fact.

In the passing game the tackles have more responsibility. That's not even a question either.

No I'm not saying tackles aren't important in the running game and vice versa for guards. What I said us what I meant.

thunderkyss
03-25-2012, 12:26 AM
The guards and center definitely have more responsibility in the run game. It's not even a question. That's just a fact.

I'm just not seeing it. We talk about our tackles in our run game much more than our guards. Both Duane Brown & Eric Winston are more responsible for our excellent run game over the last two years than our guards.

Rey
03-25-2012, 12:44 AM
I'm just not seeing it. We talk about our tackles in our run game much more than our guards. Both Duane Brown & Eric Winston are more responsible for our excellent run game over the last two years than our guards.

Run blocking is not as demanding for tackles and pass blocking isn't as demanding for guards.

And it's that way for several reasons.

De's usually are easier to move than dt's. And the same thing that makes then easier to move makes then harder to block when passing Tackles dont have to block lb's as often as guards and centers.

I see you said double team up above, but guards and centers ate double teaming. One guy usually makes the initial contact and the other one takes the guy over while the first guy goes up to the next level. If the d lineman slants hard towards the play the first guy will stay with the down lineman and the second gut will go up to the next level. But the steps remain the same.

People normally focus on the blocking on the frontside of a play, but the backside blocking is what allows for the big runs. Tackles really don't work as hard because often times the backside de is wither left completely alone or is minimally blocked. Whereas the backside guard better get the backside lb to cut off pursuit.

Basically the guards and center are generally responsible the meat of the run stoppers which I'd the mike, play side dt and backside lb.

Now I'm just speaking on a regular stretch zone or off tackle zone play which is a majority of what the texans run.

The edge players aren't generally known to be run stoppers, they are known as pass rushers. Interior guys are known as your run stoppers.

Maybe Winston looked so good against the run compared to the guards because his job was a little easier. I'm not saying Winston wasn't good at his job, I'm just saying when running the ball his job wasn't generally as hard as the interior line.

76Texan
03-25-2012, 01:02 AM
When Sherman was here, he mixed in the gap scheme to complement the ZBS.


Then Gibbs came and he wanted the Olinemen to get the ZBS down to heart so we scratched the gap scheme.
We ran more inside zone (tight zone) plays, probably because Gibbs wanted the RBs to go downhill quickly.


Then with Dennison, we mixed in the gap scheme again; we have the guards and tackles pull and counter runs.

As we ran more outside zone (wide zone) plays last year, the tackles were more important. However, when we stretch the field horizontally, the RB is supposed to find the most open seam, and it could be inside the guard, depending on how the D run their scheme.

Everybody on the line need to do their job, because we can always use the cut back lane on the back side when the defense is determined to cut off the front side. We really can't say which lineman is more important, I don't think.

kiwitexansfan
03-25-2012, 01:55 AM
The run game is one thing, when we pass block like all teams T are taking on the best pass rushers generally so that is why they get the big $ right?

IDEXAN
03-25-2012, 09:25 AM
The most talented and challenging pass-rushers are still playing off of the edge which means it's the tackles and not the interior linemen who are the ones who draw the assignment to defend and protect the QB against them.

Wolf
03-25-2012, 09:38 AM
Inside zone blocking against the 3-4
http://www.hawgtuff.net/INSIDE%20ZONE%20BLOCKING%20TUTORIAL.pdf

thunderkyss
03-25-2012, 11:40 AM
The most talented and challenging pass-rushers are still playing off of the edge which means it's the tackles and not the interior linemen who are the ones who draw the assignment to defend and protect the QB against them.

Unless they stunt.. or you've got guys like Antonio Smith & JJ Watt tearing up the interior.

JamesBill
03-25-2012, 07:31 PM
I was thinking about this when we lost brisiel. I really wish we could have kept him because when they do rotations or pick up double teams, the inside position has much more of a mental challenge than the tackles. The guy on the end can just react and like I said before is only dealing with one guy much more often. Those pancakes by Winston look awesome but mentally they aren't tough.

BigBull17
03-26-2012, 10:07 AM
Overall I'd say that guards are more important because no matter which way the play is going, picking up their guy is vital and they have to work to get there every play...Whereas a backside tackle may not have to work very hard to keep his man out of the play...

But it also depends on the front you are blocking and the play called...

The idea of any linemen being the "most important" is a phallacy. Left tackles are important, but if you have the best LT in the world and the rest is substandard you are gonna be in for a hurting. That's why our line works so well, as it was 5 guys that were good with no weak link.

Texans_Chick
03-28-2012, 06:57 PM
As a side issue, one of the things that shocked the incoming staff when the first got to the Texans was how hodge podge the line was. The current staff has very specific views on what they want their center, guards and tackles to be able to do. They thought that the previous Texans folks just acquired whatever guys were offensive linemen and just sort of randomly stuck them in spaces based on what they needed. That makes sense given some of the linemen they had assembled in the 2005 season and which positions they were asked to play.

FWIW.

Rey
03-28-2012, 07:39 PM
The idea of any linemen being the "most important" is a phallacy. Left tackles are important, but if you have the best LT in the world and the rest is substandard you are gonna be in for a hurting. That's why our line works so well, as it was 5 guys that were good with no weak link.

We're talking specifically about the run game.

And I still believe guards and centers play a more important role. Their jobs are never easy. As a tackle there are certain things you can do to make your job a hell of a lot easier.

Conversely the tackles normally have the tougher job in pass protection.

I never said one position is more important overall.

drunkcookie
03-29-2012, 10:10 AM
I don't think you can say either is more important in this scheme.. but if you are to argue importance, you need to throw the guards in with the center and the TEs in with the tackles and make it the whole interior line vs. tackles and TEs... The FB is always floating around somewhere... He could block in or could go to the corner (most of the time inside)..

On a lot of the Texans running plays, the guards and center may give you a good push, but if the tackle and/or TE clear out the backside well enough, your RB can be in the secondary...

So on 2nd and 10 the center and guards themselves may give you 3-4 yards, but if the backside was cleared you're at 1st and 10 instead of 3rd and long... But does a good clear by the tackle/TE matter if the LG, C and RG don't get a decent push?

One is no more important than the other...

Vinny
03-29-2012, 10:47 AM
I don't think you can say either is more important in this scheme.. but if you are to argue importance, you need to throw the guards in with the center and the TEs in with the tackles and make it the whole interior line vs. tackles and TEs... The FB is always floating around somewhere... He could block in or could go to the corner (most of the time inside)..

On a lot of the Texans running plays, the guards and center may give you a good push, but if the tackle and/or TE clear out the backside well enough, your RB can be in the secondary...

So on 2nd and 10 the center and guards themselves may give you 3-4 yards, but if the backside was cleared you're at 1st and 10 instead of 3rd and long... But does a good clear by the tackle/TE matter if the LG, C and RG don't get a decent push?

One is no more important than the other...

yeah, with 22 guys on the field everyone has a role and its like a chain. Weak links tend to ruin the entire chain no matter how strong your 'strongest' link is.

Goes without saying that if you want short yardage/goal line success you would really like to have superior guys Guard to Guard...If you want to run outside on the edge you need Tackles that can get leverage and block in space (something not that easy to do for tall lanky men vs shorter more compact guys) to destroy 5 techniques setting the edge.

I think in College you can hide guys with elite backs or skill players, but in the pros you can minimize weak players but you just can't hide them for they will be game planned and exposed.

welsh texan
03-29-2012, 11:00 AM
yeah, with 22 guys on the field everyone has a role and its like a chain. Weak links tend to ruin the entire chain no matter how strong your 'strongest' link is.

Goes without saying that if you want short yardage/goal line success you would really like to have superior guys Guard to Guard...If you want to run outside on the edge you need Tackles that can get leverage and block in space (something not that easy to do for tall lanky men vs shorter more compact guys) to destroy 5 techniques setting the edge.

I think in College you can hide guys with elite backs or skill players, but in the pros you can minimize weak players but you just can't hide them for they will be game planned and exposed.

This also speaks to the way guys who get thrown in to the starting line-up tend to have early success. They aren't gameplanned against, but you know their weaknesses and will gameplan to mask them.

Thats true of all positions though, the cliche your only as strong as your weakest link isn't quite true, as you can game plan around them, but you will be limited by having a weak link.

This is why I don't think its essential to get day 1 starters on OL in this draft, but I do think its essential to get guys who are going to battle and push Caldwell and Butler.

thunderkyss
03-29-2012, 08:50 PM
I don't think you can say either is more important in this scheme.. but if you are to argue importance, you need to throw the guards in with the center and the TEs in with the tackles and make it the whole interior line vs. tackles and TEs... The FB is always floating around somewhere... He could block in or could go to the corner (most of the time inside)..

On a lot of the Texans running plays, the guards and center may give you a good push, but if the tackle and/or TE clear out the backside well enough, your RB can be in the secondary...

So on 2nd and 10 the center and guards themselves may give you 3-4 yards, but if the backside was cleared you're at 1st and 10 instead of 3rd and long... But does a good clear by the tackle/TE matter if the LG, C and RG don't get a decent push?

One is no more important than the other...

Not to mention their "assignment" is based on the defensive alignment more than any "preconceived" notion of who is doing what. The TEs job may be to hold up a DE, waiting for help from the guard as the Tackle pulls around the end.

Or the Guard & the Tackle may double team a DT on the play side, then depending on how the DT plays, the Tackle may be the one to sneak up into the second level, or the Guard may get free.

In a Zone blocking system, no one has a "set" job. It depends on what they see before the snap, then changes still, depending on what happens after the snap. Which is why it is so important for the RB to be able to read what is happening & decide on the best course of action.

Rey
03-29-2012, 09:06 PM
In a Zone blocking system, no one has a "set" job. It depends on what they see before the snap, then changes still, depending on what happens after the snap.

I agree with that for the most part. Still doesnt change the fact that guards have more responsibility/reads in the run game. Alignment doesn't affect tackles as much as guards.

Tackles are normally reading only two players in a given run play. A down lineman and a lb. Guards are generally reading/have to react to two down linemen and a lb.

A 34 would be more difficult for the tackles and center though. Tackles would then have the extra defender to account for.

Of course that changes from play to play, but for the most part guards have the more difficult jobs when it comes to running the ball while tackles generally draw the harder assignments against the pass.

And the blocking is actually pretty set in a zone blocking scheme. The major thing though, is that you don't chase. You let your steps set up your block. If a downlinenan stunts you don't chase him because another defender is likely going to take their place.

But I'd say more often than not the oline knows who they will block unless a defense does something they've never seen before. Its more predictable than lining up and reading on the go.

Rey
03-29-2012, 09:13 PM
yeah, with 22 guys on the field everyone has a role and its like a chain. Weak links tend to ruin the entire chain no matter how strong your 'strongest' link is.

That sounds nice and it's definitely something you want all 22 to buy into, but it's the exception rather than the rule.

On quite a few plays, all 22 guys will not have equal importance in the success of a play.

I'm not saying that a wr outside the numbers on the backside of a toss doesn't or can't have an impact on a play. I'm just saying that in that particular instance his job isn't as important as the rb or the linemen that pull out ahead of him to block on the playside.

Vinny
03-30-2012, 12:01 AM
that's really not what I'm saying...not implying everyone has equal importance on a given play. Weakness just gets exploited in this league.

JB
03-30-2012, 12:33 AM
Kinda like asking if a WR is more important than a RB. Both have their role to play and any weakness will be exposed. You have to have balance and performance from all or fail.

Scooter
03-30-2012, 04:32 AM
edit

Goldensilence
03-30-2012, 10:46 AM
All I am going to point out is when Wade Smith got added to OL it took off as a unit. Myers is no longer getting pushed back into the qb like prior and Brisiel looked much better.

Not saying Wade is an all pro or anything, but prior to him coming here we had really deficient guard play in general. I think guard play has to be a bigger emphasis here considering we have an undersized C in Myers.

I hold out hope that either Shelly Smith, who seemed much more physical at Co State, steps up or that we look for a replacement for Caldwell via FA.

b0ng
03-30-2012, 12:40 PM
All I am going to point out is when Wade Smith got added to OL it took off as a unit. Myers is no longer getting pushed back into the qb like prior and Brisiel looked much better.

Not saying Wade is an all pro or anything, but prior to him coming here we had really deficient guard play in general. I think guard play has to be a bigger emphasis here considering we have an undersized C in Myers.

I hold out hope that either Shelly Smith, who seemed much more physical at Co State, steps up or that we look for a replacement for Caldwell via FA.

Our system took off when we had Arian Foster as the RB1. So which one is it? Also, Caldwell is going to get his chance as a starter and we probably are not looking for his replacement in FA, probably a back-up player.

Goldensilence
03-30-2012, 05:01 PM
Our system took off when we had Arian Foster as the RB1. So which one is it? Also, Caldwell is going to get his chance as a starter and we probably are not looking for his replacement in FA, probably a back-up player.

Well, the fact that Myers isn't getting Kris Jenkins'd once a game tells me quite a bit. The line since getting Smith has consistently gotten a much better push and tends to win the LOS battle more often than prior.

Also when Tate or Ward has stepped in the game, the drop off has not been terrible like in the past.

I think Caldwell will get his chance, but I am hoping for a short leash or that they will either bring someone else in to push him or that Smith steps up his game knowing he's got a chance to start. I'd also keep in mind Caldwell was drafted originally as an All-American C, not a G. We've been fortunate that Myers has grown into a top tier C.

Love Foster, I think he's probably the most complete back i nthe league right now and deserved to get paid like it. It really was key to keep him. Though, I think both the RBs and OL have really benefited from each other the past few yeas.